From Olanrewaju Lawal, Birnin Kebbi
Federal Government has distributed agriculture inputs to 382,308 farmers in Kebbi State who were affected by the flood in 2020.
The Minister of Humanitarian Affairs and Disaster Management, Hajiya Sadiya Farouq, while speaking at the flag-off said that the distribution signified the commencement of yet another major landmark effort by the Federal Government to further support persons affected by the 2020 flood disaster.
According to her, ‘today’s event is a culmination of a follow-up commitment to the initial emergency relief items distributed to the affected persons in the aftermath of the 2020 floods.
‘This intervention was approved to provide emergency agricultural inputs specifically to further support farmers that lost their crops as a result of the inundation of their farmlands and the cutting off of access to croplands during the flood disaster.
‘The unfortunate flood incident resulted in the displacement of several communities, damage to infrastructure, destruction of croplands and widespread environmental dislocation.
‘The Federal Ministry of Humanitarian Affairs, Disaster Management and Social Development, in response to the incidence activated the National Emergency Management Agency (NEMA) to conduct a detailed assessment of the situations and make a recommendation for intervention,’ she said.
Farouq, who was represented by Aisha Ibrahim, Special Assistant to the Minister, urged the beneficiaries to cooperate with the implementation teams and make the best use of the inputs provided to them.
‘Let me also emphasise that this intervention is not a compensation for losses incurred by farmers. It is a demonstration of the great concern by Mr President to support them to get back on their feet and once more restore their normal lives,’ she said.
The Vice Chairman of the National Food Security Council, Senator Abubakar Atiku Bagudu, who is the Governor of Kebbi State, said that the aim of distributing the relief was to strengthen food security in the country and safety of the farmers and agriculture-related ventures.
‘It is worth knowing that the national food security council has, since 2018, considered and approved similar intervention for farmers and those in the animal husbandry sector affected by the flood and communal clashes in some states of the federation,’ he said.
‘It is also worth knowing that the 2018 intervention was the first intervention that recognised those affected by the flood in the animal husbandry sector.
‘It was the first time that the intervention was expended, livelihood intervention of the National Emergency Management Agency (NEMA).
‘President Buhari directed that each state that was affected by conflict should be supported so that those affected in Internally Displaced Persons (IDPs)’ camps would be able to go back to their economic activities.
‘For the 2020 intervention, the President approved a due process waver so that NEMA, the Ministry of Humanitarian Affairs and Disaster Management, and Ministry of Agriculture can procure and deliver quicker.
‘Going to the success of the 2018 intervention, the council considered the report of the 2020 flood assessment and approved the present distribution.
‘A total of 382,308 farmers are targeted to benefit nationwide from this intervention,’ he said.
Bagudu said that the inputs to be distributed comprised seeds, seedlings, agro-chemical, fertiliser, pumping machines as well as other inputs for the livestock sector, among others.
In his closing remarks, the Director General of NEMA, Alhaji Mustapha Habib-Ahmed, commended the doggedness and unflinching commitment of Mr President for placing priority and supporting small scale farmers.
‘These are real farmers that toil come rain, come shine to feed the nation, safeguard our national food security and our pride as a people.
‘Nigerians are now proud to eat the produce of the Nigerian farmer. Beyond saving foreign exchange for Nigeria, farming is now an illustrious profession, thanks to Mr President,’ he said.